It's exam time! How to keep your child calm

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 12, 2020

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Exams always appear on the horizon much faster than what is expected. That was four weeks preparation time is suddenly two days of panic and last-minute scrambling to cover acres of school work.

You are not alone if you find your child has left their studying too late, and the entire house is now in panic mode.

The question is: Is there anything one can do at this stage?

The first issue would be to sit your child down and in a calm and measured manner explain to them how poor planning and lack of effort have led them to the situation they now find themselves in where they are worried about whether they will do well enough to progress to the next grade. Or possibly even pass Grade 12…

But to the return to the more immediate problem: what can one do in this situation?

The most important thing is to not panic. Children who tend to leave studying until the last minute – and even those who have studied in good time – will be feeling the pressure of exams and we, as parents, often end being their therapist during a period of tremendous stress and uncertainty.

It is our duty to ensure our children remain calm and composed. And to prepare them mentally, physically, and emotionally in the best way we can so that they are able to deliver their best during the exams.

Kayleen Olivier (a blogger from Worksheet), gives the following hints to reduce exam stress and give your child an edge on the day.

1. Focus on what’s important: Consult the exam guidelines that contain the information that they need to study for each specific exam.

2. Don’t just highlight: Highlighting words is not in itself an act of studying and it would be far more beneficial to pick up a pen and jot down keywords on a page while they are studying.

3. Brain food: It is therefore super important that they have a balanced, nutritional diet during exam time to boost their brainpower and make sure that they are firing on all cylinders.

4. Don’t multitask: It is important that your child doesn’t try to chop and change between subjects/sections, as this will clutter their mind and make it very hard to take in information.

5. Rest up: Rest is a vital part of the learning process.

Exam time will always present its fair share of challenges, but embrace the challenge and take it one step at a time. Keep a cool head.

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